The Mandile Family Web Site

Origins of the Mandile Family Name

Several years ago, one of our Mandile cousins gave us a copy of this certificate, which contains information on the meaning of the name 'Mandile'.

If you're part of the Mandile family and you'd like a larger version of the file to print, please contact us via the Contact page.

Mandile Name Certificate

This certificate proposes that the name 'Mandile' is derived from words meaning 'kitchen cloth' or 'handkerchief'. The definition on is a little more glamorous:

Southern Italian: from the medieval Greek mandilin, meaning 'headscarf'. Presumably a metonymic occupational name for someone who sold scarves or a nickname for someone who habitually wore a scarf.
Mandilas is also found as a Greek family name, with derivatives such as Mandilakis.
Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

Kath often speculated that the name 'Mandile' could be derived from the German/Austrian name 'Mandel'. This name and its variations have totally different meanings to the Greek-derived name:

German, Dutch, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Middle High German mandel, Middle Dutch mandel, or Yiddish mandl meaning 'almond'. This could have been a topographic name for someone who lived by an almond tree or a metonymic occupational name for a seller of almonds. In the case of the Jewish name, it is one of the many ornamental surnames referring to different types of trees and their fruit. This is also found as a Slovenian name in the form Mandelj.

German: possibly a habitational name from any of various places named Mandel, for example near Bingen, or Mandeln.
South German and Austrian: variant of Mandl, meaning 'small man'.
Dutch: from Middle Dutch mandel(e), a term denoting a certain number of sheaves of harvested wheat (12–15).
Jewish (Ashkenazic): variant of Mendel, meaning 'man'.
Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

Recently we received an email from a man in Boston whose mother was a Mandile from Salina. According to his mother, the name Mandile refers to the scarf Veronica used to wipe the face of Jesus during his journey to Calvary, a cloth that supposedly preserved his features in the fabric when it was removed from his bloodstained face. Whether there's any basis to this claim or not, it's certainly a more dramatic reference than the others we've listed on this page.

If you'd like to check out the names of other branches of your family, visit


The name Mandile has three syllables, as all vowels are pronounced in the Italian language. So the correct pronunciation is mun-deel-eh.

In Australia, Mandile is mispronounced as man-dl (with the emphasis on the 'man') or man-deel (with the emphasis on the 'deel'). Both of them lack the musical quality of the original name.

Mandile Family Tree . . .

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